Some time ago a priests wife wrote that she had been using her “hold-up” prayer for a certain person — “just holding you silently in God’s presence for a while,” she said to him. Here’s how she explains the prayer, “On numerous occasions in my life I have felt a certain lifting of spirit that meant just one thing: someone was praying for me.
This knowledge sends me to my knees to pray for someone else. I don’t try to tell God what that other person needs: He knows. My aim is simply to hold that person up before God for a while, in love and wordless concern.”
If someone has been unkind, hold that person up in God’s presence. If a child has been difficult, hold him up for God to embrace. Friend, enemy, husband, wife, neighbor, priest, world leader — hold each up to receive our Lord’s love.
Who can tell what changes would result if enough people did this every day of their lives! One housewife found a new way of praying one day while ironing. She got to thinking about how many lines there were — bus lines, telephone lines, clothes lines, fishing lines. “Why not a prayer line?” she asked. So she strung up a short rope across one corner of her kitchen.
On it she hung cards with the names of shut-ins, of the sick and the bereaved. As she ironed she prayed for those people by name. Father John of Kronstadt writes, “Pray for all as you would pray for yourself, with the same sincerity and fervor; look upon their infirmities and sicknesses as your own, their spiritual ignorance, their sins and lusts, as your own, their temptations, misfortunes and manifold afflictions as your own.
Such prayer will be accepted with great favor by the Heavenly Father, the most gracious, common Father of all, whose boundless love embraces and preserves all creatures.”